V-Mart talks his way into Boston's lineup

V-Mart talks his way into Boston's lineup

ANAHEIM -- So much for Victor Martinez's scheduled day off on Wednesday afternoon. When the Red Sox were in the midst of their conga line victory handshakes following Tuesday night's victory, Martinez pulled manager Terry Francona aside and told him he badly wanted to play the finale of this 10-game road trip against the Angels.

Martinez was so intent on it that he mentioned it again to Francona in the clubhouse after the game and reiterated that desire Wednesday morning.

With J.D. Drew out of the lineup with a left hamstring strain, Francona was pleased how badly Martinez wanted to play. And there the catcher was, batting fifth.

The reason Francona was going to hold Martinez out initially is because he just returned on Monday after being on the disabled list for a month.

"I feel good," said Martinez. "I think I've had plenty of off-days. Like I say, it's not fun to watch the game from the bench. I just want to be part of it and I'm just trying to help the team somehow. I just want to play no matter what."

Francona was not one to argue. Not with his team entering the day seven games behind the Yankees in the American League East and five in back of the Rays in the AL Wild Card standings.

"With J.D.'s bat not in the lineup, it's nice to have that bat," Francona said.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.